On June 2, 2009, the Religious
Institute issued a statement on behalf of national religious
organizations and religious leaders in the wake of the murder of Dr.
George Tiller in his church on Sunday, May 31, 2009. The statement is
signed by religious leaders, including the Presidents of three national
denominations, who have joined to mourn for Dr. Tiller and to condemn
the violence that led to his death. The statement and a list of
signatories – still in formation – follows.
STATEMENT OF RELIGIOUS LEADERS ON THE MURDER OF DR. GEORGE TILLER
Sex. Abortion. Parenthood. Power.
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As religious leaders, we affirm that life is sacred.
mourn for Dr. George Tiller. We decry the cruel act of violence that
ended his life. We pray for his family, friends, colleagues, and
staff, and for the untold number of women and families who have been
deprived of his compassionate care.
condemn physical and verbal violence and harassment directed against
abortion clinics, their staffs, and their clients. We call for a
society that assures safe access and delivery of reproductive health
care services, both for the women and families who need them, and the
practitioners who provide them.
Rev. Debra W. Haffner, Director, Religious Institute
Rabbi Dennis Ross, Director, Concerned Clergy for Choice
Rev. Dr. Ignacio Castuera, National Chaplain, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Rev. Carlton Veazey, Director, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
Ellen T. Armour, Director, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Program on Gender, Religion and Sexuality, Nashville, TN
Dr. Lee Barker, President, Meadville Lombard Theological School, Chicago, IL
Rev. Dr. Rita Nakashima Brock, Director, Faith Voices for the Common Good, Oakland, CA
Rev. Steve Clapp, Director, Christian Community, Fort Wayne, IN
Rev. Dr. Marie M. Fortune, Founder, Faith Trust Institute, Seattle, WA
Dr. Christine Gudorf, Chair, Department of Religion, Florida International University, Miami, FL
Ms. Ann Hanson, Minister for Sexuality Education and Justice, United Church of Christ, Cleveland, OH
Dr. Mary E. Hunt, Co-Director, WATER, Silver Spring, MD
Ms. Debra Kolodny, Executive Director, ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal, Philadelphia, PA
Rev. Peter Laarman, Progressive Christians Uniting, Los Angeles, CA
Rabbi Michael Lerner, Chair, Network of Spiritual Progressives, Berkeley, CA
Rev. Troy Plummer, Executive Director, Reconciling Ministries Network, Chicago, IL
Dr. Sylvia Rhue, Interim Director, National Black Justice Coalition, Washington, DC
Rev. Michael Schuenemeyer, Executive, Healthy and Wholeness Advocacy, United Church of Christ, Cleveland, OH
Rev. William Sinkford, President, Unitarian Universalist Association
Rabbi Mychal B. Springer, Associate Dean, Jewish Theological Seminary, New York, NY
Rev. John H. Thomas, General Minister and President, United Church of Christ, Cleveland, OH
Dr. Emilie M. Townes, Academic Dean, Yale Divinity School, New Haven, CT
Rev. Rebecca Voelkel, Director, Institute for Welcoming Resources, Minneapolis, MN
Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Director, The Shalom Center, Philadelphia, PA
Rev. Matthew Westfox, National Coordinator for Field Services, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, New York, NY
Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, President, Union for Reform Judaism, New York, NY